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At least 40 killed in Iraq in Tigris River ferry accident

At least 40 killed in Iraq in Tigris River ferry accident

Over 50 people have been rescued so far, as ambulances and helicopters arrived to continue the search for survivors and bodies of the victims.

An amusement boat has sunk in the Tigris River, killing dozens of people in Iraq who were celebrating Nowruz, a joyous holiday marking the new year at the start of spring.

Khalil said numerous dead were women and children.

Images on social media show the upturned vessel and people floating in the water.

The disaster comes as Mosul has begun to rebuild areas like Tourist Island after years of Islamic State rule.

The river's level was high because of a rainy season that brought more precipitation than previous years.

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Numerous victims are women and children, according to the Mosul Eye, a blog that documents events in the city.

"There is a large number of fathers and mothers who are looking for their children until now", he added. He said more than 80 people were on the ferry when it sank.

The vessel was believed to be carrying 100 people when it capsized.

Local information source Mosul Eye has tweeted an "urgent appeal" for people to go down to the river near the Fifth Bridge and the Old Bridge in the city centre to help with the rescue. He said it wasn't long before he saw people drowning, their heads bobbing up and "sliding away across the water like plastic bags".

Adel Abdul-Mahdi, the Iraqi prime minister, ordered an investigation and expressed deep condolences to the families of the victims.